Friday, April 10, 2009

Court's ruling has no bearing on 2 other Perak cases - Malaysiakini

Apr 10, 09 5:25pm

The Federal Court's decision yesterday in allowing the three defectors to remain as elected representatives does not affect another two related cases still pending in the Kuala Lumpur court.

Perak DAP chairperson Ngeh Koo Ham said although Pakatan Rakyat was disappointed with the apex court’s decision, they will respect it.

"The decision, however, does not affect two pending cases scheduled to be heard on May 28, namely Speaker V Sivakumar's and the six excos' application against the three assemblypersons.

In both cases, they are seeking quo warranto and declarations against the three assemblypersons that their seats are vacant and to order the Election Commission (EC) to conduct by-elections for the said seats," said the DAP leader.

Yesterday, the apex court unanimously ruled that the EC is the rightful authority to decide whether a casual vacancy in the Perak legislative assembly had occurred. It also declared that the three assemblypersons in question remain as elected representatives.

Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), in their application filed at the Ipoh High Court had referred the matter to the apex court yesterday, and wanted it to declare they have not resigned and are still elected representatives.

The matter came before the Federal court following matters of interpretation to decide on whether it is the speaker or the EC, which has the final say in determining a state seat is vacant or that their resignation letters purportedly tendered by them was valid.

Nothing new to the present scenario

Commenting on yesterday's decision, Ngeh said the decision merely affirms EC's current position on the three assemblypersons and no by-elections for Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang.

"It does not add anything new to the present scenario," he said.

On the two cases yet to be heard, Ngeh said the basis of the cases is that the EC had wrongly taken into account the denial by the three assemblypersons that they had resigned.

He emphasised there was no duress or illegality in the procurement of the letters of resignation.

Thus, Ngeh said while the EC may make a decision on the issue of vacancy (as decided by the Federal Court ), the commission must make its decision legally and on relevant considerations (this issue concerning the EC was not decided by the Federal Court ).

Ngeh said the speaker and six others felt the EC had not made its decision properly, and therefore, its decision on the status of the three defectors is open to challenge.

"This is the subject matter of the two KL High Court suits which is due to be heard," he said, adding that “I hope this will help clarify any misunderstanding following yesterday's decision.”

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